January 27, 2023 - Citizens Union issued a report outlining the benefits of moving New York City’s municipal elections to even-numbered years. This move would bring elections for city offices in line with gubernatorial or presidential elections. Municipal elections in New York City, which are currently held in odd-numbered years, have consistently seen lower voter turnout than elections held in even-numbered years. Consolidating municipal elections with presidential or gubernatorial elections will increase voter turnout, giving more New Yorkers a say over who governs them at the local level.
A new report by Citizens Union aims to examine the potential benefits and impacts of moving New York City's municipal elections "on-cycle" to even-numbered years, to coincide with the presidential or gubernatorial/midterm elections. We analyze how consolidating elections would affect overall turnout, demographics of the electorate, and administrative burdens and costs. The report also looks into the experience of cities that have moved their local elections on-cycle in recent years, like El Paso, Phoenix, and Baltimore, and charts a path to change the election year in New York.
Citizens Union Responds to Senate Passage of Legislation to Reform the Operations of New York’s Local Boards of Elections
January 10, 2022 - Citizens Union releases the following statement from Executive Director Betsy Gotbaum following the passage of a package of legislation to reform the operations of New York’s local boards of elections by expanding voting rights and reforming our election system
January 5, 2023 - Citizens Union joined over 100 voting, racial justice, labor, and good government groups to urge Governor Hochul, Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, and Speaker Heastie to continue leading on voting, election administration, and campaign finance reforms in the 2023 legislative session.
Citizens Union, other good government groups demand Council hold hearings to vet Board of Elections nominee
December 19, 2022 -- Citizens Union, Common Cause NY, the League of Women Voters of the City of New York, NYPIRG and Reinvent Albany have sent a letter to NYC Council Speaker Adrienne Adams and Majority Leader and Rules Committee Chair Keith Powers, calling on the Council to hold a public confirmation hearing for the New York County Democratic nominee for Commissioner of Elections and take transparent measures that would vet the nominee’s experience and fitness to administer elections.
December 5, 2022 - Letter urging Governor Hohul to sign into law S2951A/A8858A (reducing the voter registration cutoff to the Constitutional minimum of 10 days) and S284C/A642C (remedies the “Wrong Church suppression” technicality by counting eligible votes on affidavit ballots cast in the correct Assembly District, but at the incorrect poll site)
Citizens Union Applauds Legislature for Moving Voter Registration Deadline to 10 Days Before Election Day
June 1, 2022 - Citizens Union releases the following statement from Executive Director Betsy Gotbaum after the NYS Assembly passed S2951A/A8858A which would reduce the time for mailing and receipt of voter registration applications to the Constitutional minimum of 10 days before election
Citizens Union Applauds State Senate for Taking Steps to Reform New York’s Broken Election Administration System
May 19, 2022 - Citizens Union releases the following statement from Executive Director Betsy Gotbaum applauding the State Senate for passing a set of bills that will reform Boards of Elections throughout New York State
May 2nd, 2022 - Today, Citizens Union and the League of Women Voters of NYS sent a letter to Governor Hochul and legislative leaders urging the postponement of all elections scheduled to take place in June to August 23.
April 8, 2022 - Citizens Union releases the following statement from Executive Director Betsy Gotbaum on the details of the New York State budget deal: “Governor Hochul’s first state budget presented a rare opportunity to push for meaningful ethics reform in Albany. Unfortunately, the governor and the legislature failed to create an independent ethics oversight body. The new commission designed to replace JCOPE is fatally flawed, will not have the public’s confidence and will not be able to oversee the state’s most powerful elected officials without fear or favor.
April 2022 - Memorandum in support of a State Senate legislative package concerning reforming the Board of Elections, including bills S263 (Myrie), S823A (Kreuger), S4542A (Mayer), S5800B (Comrie), S6684A (Mannion), S7442 (Myrie), S8289 (Gaughran), S8292 (Mannion), S8311 (Mayer), S8337 (May)
March 18, 2022 - Memorandum of support for A642B (Myrie)/S284B (Carroll), an act to amend the election law, in relation to counting of affidavit ballots. This bill would require counting the votes of eligible voters who cast an affidavit ballot at an incorrect poll site but in the correct county, instead of disqualifying the entire ballot. Only votes for contests to which that individual was entitled to vote in would be counted.
February 28, 2022 - Testimony before the City Council Committee on Governmental Operations on New York City’s Pro-Voter Law (Agency-Based Voter Registration)
January 5, 2022 - Citizens Union releases the following statement from Executive Director Betsy Gotbaum in response to Governor Kathy Hochul’s State of the State address:
Citizens Union released the following statement in reaction to the rejection of ballot proposals 1 (Amending the Redistricting Process), 3…
Memo of Opposition to proposed legislation reducing mass-mailing blackout period before elections, October 2021
October 19, 2021 - Memorandum of Opposition to Intro. No. 0034-2018, A Local Law to amend the New York City Charter, in relation to the use of government resources during an election campaign. which would reduce the blackout period for sending official mass-mailings prior to an election
Watchdogs urge City Council to hold a meaningful confirmation hearing for Board of Elections nominee
September 21, 2021 - GOOD GOVERNMENT GROUPS ASK COUNCIL LEADERS TO VET THE NOMINEE'S EXPERIENCE AND FITNESS TO ADMINISTER ELECTIONS
Testimony before the State Senate Elections Committee on reforming the Board of Elections, September 2021
September 20, 2021 - Written Testimony to the New York State Senate Committee on Elections regarding elections administration and voting rights in New York State
July 19, 2021 - Citizens Union released a detailed analysis of the June primary elections in New York City, examining the impact of Ranked Choice Voting. The analysis found that Ranked Choice Voting gave more voters a say in elections, with fewer votes “wasted” on candidates who fell well short of winning their races. The analysis also found that voter turnout increased; voters embraced Ranked Choice Voting and navigated the system well; and the number of women running, and the number of women and people of color winning increased. These benefits were seen throughout the city.
June 1, 2021 - The most recent blunder by the New York City Board of Elections, the latest in a long line of fiascos, has damaged the public’s confidence in this election. The June 29 reporting error was a result of a human error, and the Board of Elections has since issued corrected vote counts. The Board publicly apologized for the error and admitted that it must now “regain the trust of New Yorkers.” What should be done to regain New Yorker’s trust?
ElectNYC.org Launches, Giving NYC Voters Access to In-Depth, Nonpartisan Information About Candidates Ahead of June Primary
April 26, 2021 - Citizens Union Foundation (CUF) announced that the website ElectNYC.org, the organization’s nonpartisan voter education effort for the 2021 New York City elections, is now live. ElectNYC.org provides non-partisan and unbiased write-ups on the candidates running in the NYC primary and is the most comprehensive voter resource currently available.
Statement from Betsy Gotbaum of Citizens Union on Reports of New Yorkers being sent incorrect absentee ballots
September 29, 2020 - Citizens Union has issued the following statement from Executive Director Betsy Gotbaum in response to the reports of voters in New York City being sent incorrect absentee ballots: “The recently reported absentee ballot mishaps in Brooklyn and Queens have only exacerbated what was already poised to be a difficult and confusing election for voters. New York has to get this right. We know that President Trump will seize on anything he can to attempt to undermine the legitimacy of mail in ballots in New York City.”
Citizens Union Foundation Launches Nonpartisan Voter Education Campaign in Advance of the 2021 New York City Elections
July 29, 2020 - Citizens Union Foundation, New York’s preeminent nonpartisan good government group, announced the launch of ElectNYC, a nonpartisan voter education effort that will provide New Yorkers with crucial information about next year’s local New York City elections.
With Voter Registration Brought to a Standstill Due to COVID-19, Citizens Union Calls for the State to Allow Online Voter Registration in New York City
July 6, 2020 - Citizens Union has renewed its call to allow New York City residents to register to vote online in advance of the November 2020 election.
April 24, 2020 - Citizens Union has issued the following statement from Executive Director Betsy Gotbaum, applauding Governor Andrew Cuomo’s announcement of an executive order ordering the New York State Board of Elections to send a postage paid absentee ballot application to every registered voter in the state for the upcoming June primary election